Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The bookmakers are having a hard time splitting the top two in 2015 Wyong Gold Cup betting for Friday’s feature race in New South Wales with Havana Cooler and Orbec battling for favouritism in the early markets.
One of two black-types on the race card, this year’s $150,000 Listed Carlton Mid Wyong Gold Cup (2080m) originally drew a final field of 15 but the scratching of the Louis Baudron-trained Orion Love leaves 14 in the mix for the handicap clash.
In tight early Wyong Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, four of those are under double figures to win including the John O’Shea-trained Havana Cooler ($3.40) and John Thompson’s Orbec ($3.50) who head the markets.
Drawn in gate nine with Sam Clipperton in the saddle, imported Godolphin galloper Havana Cooler hasn’t won a race since July of 2013 and has had just the one run down under.
His Australian debut was at Rosehill on August 15 when sixth to Beyond Thankful, a run that was better than it looks on paper as the lightly-raced Hurricane Run six-year-old was beaten only half a length.
Orbec has a gun gate two draw for Friday, and carries 1.5kg more than Havana Cooler (54kg) getting in on 55.5kg with Tye Angland booked for the ride.
The Thompson-trained son of Le Havre is another European imported, the former French stayer having had his first run here in the same race Havana Cooler comes via where he was defeated a nose running second.
He did that with 58kg on his back and will appreciate the step back in weights as he goes up in distance this week.
The two other Wyong Gold Cup hopes under $10 for the win this spring are the aforementioned Beyond Thankful ($6.50) and the Gai Waterhouse-trained former Sydney Cup winner The Offer ($6.50) allocated the hefty 62kg top weight.
Drawn the outside alley in barrier 14, Chris Waller’s in-form Whipper gelding Beyond Thankful is the second heaviest weighted with 58kg and Hugh Bowman aboard.
Bowman has ridden the six-year-old for his past three starts that produced back-to-back wins in July and August and then the fourth to 2015 The Metropolitan-bound Magic Hurricane in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) only last Saturday.
Also drawn wide in barrier 13, Waterhouse’s Group 1 winning Montjeu seven-year-old The Offer was last seen winning the Listed Rowley Mile (1600m) at Hawkesbury on August 20 and will be in for another good run here even with the big weight.
Outside of the single figure Wyong Gold Cup hopes are a number of other chances at more generous prices for an upset including the Kris Lees-trained mare Oriental Lady ($12), last start Taree Cup winner Ghost Protocol ($16) lining up for his 43rd career start and Waterhouse’s other runner Café Society ($17) who should get a nice run from barrier three.
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